Lockheed Martin won an award from the Space Development Agency for a prototype agreement to design and build 42 small satellites. The award has a potential value of $700 million.
These satellites are part of Tranche 1, the initial warfighting capability of SDA’s Transport Layer, which will connect space with other domains on Earth in a networked environment of joint all-domain operations. Under this tranche, SDA is developing a prototype constellation of up to 126 space vehicles divided into six orbital planes.
Lockheed Martin will develop 42 of those space vehicles for the Transport Layer constellation, which will provide low-latency military data and connectivity worldwide to a full range of warfighter platforms using link-16 antennas and laser optical intersatellite links.
“This innovative mesh network of small satellites will link terrestrial warfighting domains to space sensors, allowing warfighters much faster access to data so they can stay ahead of emerging threats,” said Erik Daehler, protected communications mission area leader at Lockheed Martin Space.
“Through our Agility Partners Marketplace, we have multiple vendors on contract who can build common components without disruptions to cost or schedule — that’s key to getting this needed capability on orbit,” Daehler added.
Lockheed Martin’s Agility Partners Marketplace is a network of suppliers and teammates, including Tyvak, TESAT and Innoflight, which ensures parts are available regardless of supply chain challenges. This will help keep SDA’s delivery schedule on-time and on-budget.
“SDA is changing the landscape for acquisition of national defense space capabilities by capitalizing on a unique business model that harnesses commercial development to achieve a proliferated low Earth orbit architecture that enhances resilience and lowers latency to process and move data from sensor to shooter,” said SDA Director Derek Tournear.
“The per satellite price, volume, and speed of delivery represented by the T1TL agreements signed with our partners demonstrate industry’s progress toward building a strong marketplace,” Tournear added.
This Tranche 1 agreement builds on Lockheed Martin’s success on Tranche 0, where it is on-track to deliver 10 space vehicles later this year.